Medicine Hat, AB — Sporting the most wins on home ice in the WHL, the Tigers will pack their bags and head West to begin a 3 game road trip kicking off on Wednesday in Victoria as the Tigers will take the ferry across for the first time this season.
Traveling is part of everyday life for an WHL team, and the Tigers always put on the miles as they make trips out West and to Brandon throughout the season. After this weekend’s trip the Tigers have only one road trip to the West Coast which is a brief 2 game stop in Tri-City and Spokane at the end of the month.
This current road trip will include a Wednesday night tilt in Victoria against the Royals, who will look to avenge the 8-2 loss they took in Medicine Hat, Friday in Vancouver to face the Giants and Saturday evening in Kelowna to face Nick Merkley and the Western Conference leading Rockets.
TIGERS AT VICTORIA ROYALS (20-18-2-1)(as of Jan. 5)
|Victoria is a tough opponent since the Tigers played them in October, winning the game by a score of 8-2. Victoria has played consistent .500 hockey this season and are currently on a 3 game winning streak heading into Wednesday’s game. Austin Carroll, who had one of the WHL’s longest goal scoring streaks should be the player to watch in this match-up.
WHO TO WATCH
FOR THE TIGERS
#36 Trevor Cox: The shifty forward leads the entire WHL in scoring and assists with 65 points and 51 assists. Cox has a 4 point lead on Kelowna’s Nick Merkley for the league lead. Cox is also red hot as of late scoring 21 points in his last 6 games.
#30 Marek Langhamer: The Tigers starting goaltender has saved 83 of 88 shots sent his way in his last two starts. Langhamer currently sits 4th among WHL goaltenders in GAA. In 3 career starts against Victoria Langhamer is 1-1-1-0 with a 2.62 GAA.
#21 Chad Butcher: Butcher made his return to the lineup on Saturday night against Swift Current, scoring a goal in the second period. Butcher led the Tigers in their 8-2 victory with 3 points in the game, including 2 goals as he and linemate Markus Eisenschmid put on a show.
FOR THE ROYALS
#21 Austin Carroll: Carroll is the catalyst of the offense for the Royals, already scoring 49 points in 39 games. Carroll currently still hold the WHL’s longest goal scoring streak at 10 games this season. Carroll added to that total last game potting 2 points. Carroll ranks 7th in the WHL in scoring.
#6 Travis Brown: The 20 year old Winnipeg native drives the offense from the back end, already recording 15 goals this season, which leads all WHL defenceman, and 38 points in 41 games, the Tigers will have to be looking for Brown to jump into the play all night.
#15 Greg Chase: After his exit from the Calgary Hitmen earlier this year, the Edmonton Oilers draft pick has been reuinted with childhood friend Brandon Magee in Victoria. Chase is a gritty player who can score, recording 18 points in 15 games since the trade. Overall, Chase is scoring at over a point her game pace and will look to improve on his 85 points last year.
#18 Brandon Magee: Magee never played in the game in Medicine Hat in October but is one of the better players for Victoria when healthy or not suspended. Magee last season was given a 10+ game suspension for a hit during the playoffs. When in the lineup Magee has 31 points in 19 games for the Royals.
HIGHLIGHTS VS. VICTORIA
Markus Eisenschmid: Recorded three points vs. Victoria October 11th, 2014
Trevor Cox: Has recorded 7 career points vs. Victoria in 9 career games
Dryden Hunt: Will make his Tigers debut vs. Victoria
Kyle Burroughs: Will also make his Tigers debut after being traded Monday
TIGERS AT VANCOUVER GIANTS (18-19-1-1)(as of Jan. 5)
|The second game of Medicine Hat’s road trip takes them to Vancouver as they ride the ferry back across to face-off against the Giants. Vancouver will make 2 trips to Medicine Hat, one was already a 6-1 victory at the end of November and will return just 2 weeks from now. The Giants have been streaking as of late, since the firing of their head coach, now 7-1-1-1 in their last 10 games.
WHO TO WATCH
FOR THE TIGERS
#7 Matt Bradley: Bradley leads all active Tigers versus the Giants this season, recording 4 points in the only game against the two teams. Bradley is currently ranked 11th in rookie scoring in the WHL with 22 points in 38 games.
#5 Tyler Lewington: Tyler recorded 3 assists in the game against the Giants November 25th, and continues to increase his point totals. Lewington is ranked 17th among WHL defenceman this season, 1 point back of teammate Tommy Vannelli for the team lead. Lewington is a gritty defenceman, sitting 4th in the WHL among defenceman in penalty minutes with 74.
Dryden Hunt: Hunt will play in his 2nd game as a Tigers against the Giants and has played well against Vancouver. Already this season, in there only visit to Vancouver Hunt potted 2 goals in the Pats 6-2 victory and will look to continue that streak.
FOR THE GIANTS
#35 Cody Porter: The Giants goaltender was recently named the CHL Goaltender of the Month for December. Porter is 4-0-1-1 in his last 6 starts. Teamed up with fellow goaltender Payton Lee, the duo have righted the ship for the Giants after a dismal start to the season. Both Porter and Lee are a combined 9-1-1-1 over the past 12 games.
#27 Jackson Houck: Houck is the Giants offensive weapon, currently leading the team in scoring with 32 points in 34 games. Houck is a catalyst on the power play as well, leading the team in goals on the man advantage with 7.
#17 Tyler Benson: The highly touted Giants rookie is only 16 years old but is believed to be the future for Vancouver. A 1st Overall Bantam Draft Pick of the Giants in 2013, Benson has lots of potential. Currently, Benson has recorded 23 points in 29 games.
#44 Mason Geertsen: Tigers fans won’t get excited at the sight of Geertsen, fans will remember the last game against the Tigers, Geertsen jumped Tigers forward Chad Butcher and was kicked out of the game. Geertsen will look to stay in the game at home on Friday night.
HIGHLIGHTS VS. VANCOUVER
Matt Bradley: Recorded his first career 4 point game vs. Vancouver, November 25th
TIGERS AT KELOWNA ROCKETS (31-6-3-0)(as of Jan. 5)
|The third game on the road trip is a Saturday night tilt against the top team in the WHL, Kelowna Rockets. The Rockets boast the most victories in the WHL with 31 and are currently 8-2-0-0 in their past 10 games despite having Madison Bowey and Josh Morrissey at the World Juniors for Canada. This will be the last meeting between the two team during the regular season, Kelowna defeated the Tigers 4-2 December 12th.
WHO TO WATCH
FOR THE TIGERS
#27 Mark Rassell: Rassell opened the scoring the last time these two teams met, scoring the Teddy Bear Toss goal. Rassell will look to continue his scoring against the Rockets this season.
#30 Marek Langhamer: Langhamer had a great game in net against the Rockets on December 12th, however took the loss, allowing 3 goals on 26 shots. Look for Langhamer to bounce back on Saturday after coming off a 46 save performance against Swift Current last week.
#15 Ty Schultz: Schultz has been playing great from the back end over the past few games. Schultz is the only player on the Tigers roster who does not have a goal this season.
FOR THE ROCKETS
#10 Nick Merkley: Merkley has cooled off as of late after his torrid start to the season with teammate Rourke Chartier, however the 17 year old has continued to put up the points currently ranking 2nd behind Tigers Trevor Cox in points and assists.
#14 Rourke Chartier: Coming off of a good sophmore season in Kelowna last year, Chartier has already set career highs in goals and sits just 2 points shy of his career best in that category. Chartier is scoring at a goal per game pace and if he keeps this pace up could shoot for 50 in 50.
#20 Gage Quinney: Quinney was sent over to Kelowna in the Josh Morrissey trade earlier in December. Quinney has found some scoring touch bouncing between the Rockets second and third lines. The 19 year old from Las Vegas currently has 6 points in 8 games with the Rockets.
#1 Jackson Whistle: Whistle is the key cog to the Rockets success this season, starting in 33 of the team’s 40 games this season. Whistle is ranked just above the Tigers Langhamer in GAA sporting a 2.40. Whistle also leads the entire WHL in victories with 24, tied with Brandon’s Jordan Papirny.
HIGHLIGHTS VS. KELOWNA
Mark Rassel: Scored the Teddy Bear Toss against the Rockets on December 12th